“Well you didn't wake up this morning ’cause you didn't go to bed/ You were watching the whites of your eyes turn red/ The calendar on your wall was ticking the days off/ You've been reading some old letters/ You smile and think how much you've changed/ All the money in the world couldn't buy back those days/ You pull back the curtain/ And the sun burns into your eyes/ You watch a plane flying/ Across a clear blue sky/ This is the day your life will surely change/ This is the day when things fall into place.”—lyrics from an album called Soul Mining by The The, a band, in this case, consisting of Matt Johnson, Johnny Marr and Jools Holland.
Well, the calendars on our collective walls are certainly ticking, even though they are undoubtedly virtual at this point in time. Paper calendars, the sort dreamt of in this week’s lyrical excursion now belong to the same fantastical pre-information age world that you may or may not have heard about through social media.
In those vaunted but bygone times, folks wrote or printed all sorts of things on paper including depictions of time passing and what concerts they might attend. In the interregnum, in the space in-between, they’d glance at the papers they had created and make decisions based on the scribblings contained therein.
Of course it’s much simpler now. All one has to do is plug into the meta-mind present and available at various interface stations located all over the empire and viola!, everything all of the time. Your life is bound to change as a part of those digital interactions, even as the planes continue to ply the friendly skies and shows come and go through this desert town.
And oddly enough, here is the place where things fall into place.
The The: “This is the Day”
courtesy of the artist
John William Lowery is a Gen X axe handler from the upper Midwest who came into a new name and further fame when he joined up with Marilyn Manson at millennium's end. In short, he became John 5 dudes, a musician whose prowess in a number of genres including metal (duh), flamenco and bluegrass led some in the industry to wonder out loud whether this new guitar beast was man or machine. I’m guessing he’s human, after all he paid his dues leading David Lee Roth’s band of renown in the late ’90s, but still. The guy who grew up watching Buck Owens on “Hee Haw” gave a severe and straining metallic edge to Manson’s performances and then went on to flavor the output of Rob Zombie’s touring band while producing a hella lot of solo and session work that just rumbles and grinds and appegiates itself through the known guitar universe and into heaven and hell simultaneously. Oh, and of course he was married to a glamorous porn star in the aughts.
And he’ll be gigging at Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) on Thursday, Feb. 28 in case you are interested. And really his work is everywhere in the pop-virtuostic-metal world, from covers of “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Beat It” and “Enter Sandman” to playing sideman on both Ace Frehley’s and Steve Perry’s latest solo efforts. After due consideration, I have to say thea his latest record with The Creatures, “Crank It” slays. Careful with that axe, John. Jared James Nichols and Dead Girls Academy open. 8pm • $20 • All-ages.
John 5 and The Creatures: “Crank It/Living with Ghosts”
Mira! As the Latinx music scene here and we hope everywhere in this blessed mundo is recognized as the powerful cultural and aesthetic force that it is—as well as an audience favorite—it’s dang cool to see hipster heaven Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) leading the way with programming that celebrates a format that was long absent at Downtown rock clubs in the aughts and even until recently too.
On Friday, March 1 DColonize productions hosts Carnaval Latino 2019 at a Downtown rock club known for its innovative moves from brisket on frito pie to super decent hip-hop shows on a regular basis. This outing includes a performance and is headlined by El Dusty. He’s a producer and DJ from way down in the southlands, like Corpus Christi, yo. His fervent flava mixes up Tejano tuneage tropes with hip-hop awareness, heavy heavy house beats and soulful scratches made anthemic. I’d say get that while it’s hot, brothers and sisters because two of Burque’s most burning Latinx grupos are on tap that night at Sister too.
Baracutanga is a local septet that has managed to capture the heart of South American—particularly Peruvian and Bolivian—music while infusing their output with Afro-Cuban, Arabic and even North American folkloric rhythms. The results are mesmerizing and have the lightness of a hummingbird and the gravity of tradition threaded lovingly throughout.
Son Como Son is one of Burque’s longest standing bands. Led by César Bauvallet, they’ve been gigging for nigh on 26 years, deeply influencing the Latinx community as they proceed from joyous show to joyous show, jamming to a sound called Cuban-style salsa.
A ponemos chancla, carnales! 9pm • $12 in advance, $14 at the door • 21+.
El Dusty: “K Le Pasa”
Saturday Part I
Dust City Opera
courtesy of the artist
I’ve been listening to Dust City Opera, an American music ensemble with folk rock leanings fronted by singer-songwriter Paul Hunton. I have been surprised by the tasty tone and daring directionality of this new ensemble. For while they certainly embrace many of the aesthetics and the overall general vector of the currently popular musical movement roughly known as “Americana,” this band offers listeners much more. With a rich instrumental tapestry at his fingertips—the band is top notch and features sounds from unlikely sources such as the trombone and clarinet—Hunton weaves compelling tales of light and dark using a vocal tone and range that at first seems awkwardly aloof, al á Cohen, but then buries listeners in a rich tenor that sometimes shocks. This singular sound is new to these parts and well worth a listen. Dust City Opera is hosting their first album release party on Saturday, March 2 at Launchpad (618 Central Ave. SW) and it’ll be more than your usual run of the mill hootenanny. These folks mean business and have got some sort of musical magic at their disposal, probably enough to keep you pondering and drinking and dancing all night. Le Chat Lunatique and Bill Palmer’s TV Killers fill out the bill. 9pm • $10 in advance, $15 at the door • 21+.
Dust City Opera: “Bring Me Back Home”
Saturday Part II
Noah Martinez and Jordan Wax of Lone Piñon
Traditional New Mexican music comes in many forms. The music produced en el norte by small bands, or conjuntos, has been one of the most vital traditions in that world of multiple influences and vast varieties of instrumentation. From outta this mad and magnificent melting pot come a trio called Lone Piñon, a group dedicated to preserving, performing and proudly rocking out to the near-ancient sounds that come from deep in the ground, la tierra de Nuevo Mexico. They’ll be jamming at the Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale Blvd. SE) on Saturday, March 2.
In 2013, founding members Noah Martinez and Jordan Wax—both from outta Santa—took up the study of the violin-based dance music familiar to all sorta old-school norteños in these parts. The result was a new band that grokked tradition, understood the influences and ultimately rebirthed and became part of the new scene itself. Playing instruments like the fiddle, accordion, guitarrón, quinta huapanguera, tololoche and bajo sexto, Martinez, Wax and violinist Leticia Gonzales do more than bring the past to life; their vitality of presentation makes for fresh, engaging listening too. The latest album from Lone Piñon is called Dále Vuelo, which means “give it flight,” something the band does with precision and pleasure. 7:30 pm • $15 to $20 • All-ages.
Lone Piñon in concert at the Library of Congress
courtesy of the artist
Hey, latter day flower children and aging hipsters! I have a question to ask you all. When you find yourself in a psychedelic state of mind, do you, like see, geometric patterns and shizz like that? You know, have you recently experienced bright colors and patterns? Numinous objects tht vaguely resemble mineral spirits count too. It’s okay, you don’t have to answer right away, I understand if the whole dang experience has left you speechless.
Anyway, I grok your response, peeps; I’ve probably been there too. And while I’m feeling all affiliative, let me just remind you that the words Kikagaku Moyo can be translated to mean “geometric patterns.” Interestingly, that’s also the name of a rocking band from Japan playing at Sister (407 Central Ave. NW) on Sunday, March 3. Led by Go Kurosawa and Tomo Katsurada, this quintet from Tokyo made brain-bending records like 2014’s Forest of Lost Children and last year’s Masana Temples seem normative. Improvisatory, jazz-laden, dreamy and disturbing, Kikagku Moya is a for sure reason to dust off your rosiest psych spectacles and transport over to that one best time ever bar in the middle of all of our kaleidoscope worlds. 8pm • $12 • 21+.